Buying a home is one of the biggest financial undertakings that most people will ever attempt. It’s a tricky and costly process, complete with a unique set of major risks… and lifelong rewards.

When it comes time to buy, most people are concerned about two things: the quality of their representation, and the amount they’ll end up having to pay in the transaction.

Recognizing this, some brokerages and real estate service providers, such as Redfin, offer buyers the promise of a rebate. On the surface, this seems like a smart move for buyers. Redfin offers to put money right back into the buyer’s pocket at a time when they may need it – and, after all, who could say no to free cash?

But, needless to say, there’s a catch. There’s a little more going on to this rebate process than meets the eye, and it could actually put buyers at a disadvantage – causing them to pay more, for less effective representation. Here’s what you need to know:

How Do Buyers’ Rebates Work?

To understand how this refund works – and why it might ultimately fail to offer any real advantages to buyers – it’s important to first understand how compensation in the homebuying process typically works.

Photo credit: Marco Verch via flickr

One of 77 designated community areas in Chicago, the Hyde Park neighborhood is home to some of the city’s most beautiful and iconic institutions, ranging from the Museum of Science and Industry to the world-renowned University of Chicago.

Located about seven miles south of the Loop, Hyde Park is officially bounded by 51st Street/Hyde Park Boulevard to the north, the Midway Plaisance to the south, Washington Park on the west, and Lake Michigan on the east. Some locals stretch their definition of Hyde Park to include some of the southernmost parts of Kenwood, which is, officially, a separate community area.

A popular destination for locals and tourists alike, Hyde Park played home to the 1893 World’s Fair. Also known as the Columbian Exposition, this major turning point in American history introduced the idea of electricity – not to mention the modern ferris wheel – to nearly 30 million people.

Today, Hyde Park still has plenty to offer, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s world famous Robie House, great access to the beaches of Lake Michigan, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and the Hyde Park Art Center, which has been an influential institution in Chicago’s art scene for decades.

Want to learn more about this historic and welcoming neighborhood? Here are a few resources worth checking out:

Curious about Hyde Park’s housing market? Here are the market conditions you need to know right now:

What are the Current Market Conditions for Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, and All of West Town?

Photo credit: Nitram242 via Wikimedia Commons

West Town refers to the large neighborhood northwest of the Loop, and is more commonly referenced by its sub-neighborhoods, which include Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, River West, East Village, part of Bucktown, and Noble Square. Lively communities entrenched in diverse histories and languages, the homes in West Town reflect the hippest and most old-fashioned sides of Chicago, all at once.

Wicker Park, named for the beautiful park at its heart, welcomes artists, families, and foodies alike, and is home to trendy bars, galleries, theater spaces, and countless other quirky gems. You can get a cup of coffee from a number of different shops, most of which are independently owned and burst with eclectic charm.

Ukrainian Village is a more mellow choice. Lined with old trees and filled with classic brick architecture, “Uke Village,” as it's sometimes called, is home to lots of small family businesses, many of which have historically employed Ukrainian or Russian as a first language. Ukrainian Village was also named 2016's "Hottest Neighborhood in the Country" by our colleagues over at Redfin.

For more information on the rest of the neighborhoods that comprise West Town, we encourage you to check out some of these handy resources:

Ready to buy or sell a house or condo in one of these charming neighborhoods? Here are the current market statistics for all of West Town:

4846 North Clark is an elegant 3-bedroom condo situated on a quiet tree-lined street in Uptown.

This is largest unit at Kinetic Lofts, and the former site of the Rainbo Roller Rink! The floor to ceiling windows in this unit tilt outward, offering even more space and endless natural light from the south and east. Carefully curated, this loft boasts a large eat-in kitchen with granite and stainless appliances, spacious private balcony (one of only two wrap-arounds in the development), a formal foyer, in-unit laundry, and a gas fireplace.

The third bedroom would be an ideal office, guest room, or den. The master suite encompasses a large walk-in closet with Elfa shelving, and an en-suite with dual vanities, separate shower and jetted tub. This home is in a fabulous location with Andersonville, Ravenswood, Mariano's, LA Fitness and the lakefront all nearby. Easy access to Red Line, Metra and Clark Bus. Incredible value for a truly unique space. Price includes one heated garage space, additional garage parking space available for $25,000. (Both spots have installed bike racks.)

There are more photos after the jump (read more...) or take a 3D tour here:

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